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Action needed on workplace bullying

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The TUC has called for action to prevent workplace bullying after new research found most workers have experience of bullying at work. Personal injury law firm Slater and Gordon found almost six in 10 people have witnessed or suffered bullying in the workplace. Over a third (37 per cent) said they had been bullied themselves. The poll of 2,000 workers found that while most people had witnessed or believed they had faced bullying in the workplace, less than half (48 per cent) did anything about it. Claire Dawson, an employment lawyer at Slater and Gordon, said: “They are concerned for their own positions and aren’t willing to put their necks on the line, especially when they don’t know how an employer will respond to the issue. Our advice to anybody being bullied would be to stand up and take action. You have to confront the bully, either directly or through HR or a manager, to let them know that what they are doing is unacceptable.” Commenting on the findings, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Office bullies must be banished from the workplace. The stress and anxiety felt by victims can make them physically ill, lose all self-confidence and mean that they dread coming into work. No-one should be put in this position.” She added: “Employers who fail to tackle bullying will pay a price too. Staff who are bullied are more likely to take more time off because of the stress caused by their harassment and will be less productive at work. Every organisation needs to have an anti-bullying policy, and every manager should ensure that there is zero-tolerance of bullying either by line managers or workmates. This research shows why people should join a union to ensure they are treated fairly at work.”

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